The First “Next”

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I have this new pink ribbon on my back pack.

The reason I just added it is for all the obvious reasons.  Plus one more.

After everything I’ve been through, I guess I thought–subconsciously, deep in my cute little ego–that since I had already gone through cancer and treatment and come out a survivor, that it was over and that was the last I would ever hear about cancer again for me or for anyone else.  I took one for the team after all.

But that’s not reality.

I have to worry about it almost every day (sometimes I give myself a break from worry, like a mini-vacay) and what’s more is that other people can get cancer.  WHAT?

Chris C’s mom is the first person I heard about getting breast cancer after finishing my battle.  She’s the first “next” in my life.  And truth be told I haven’t ever met her (but she did a great job with her son, my coworker,  and we have this boob thing in common so we’re practically family now).

This news comes, ironically, right after getting a skipping stone from Lauryl.  It’s a rock from Relay for Life that I am to give to the next person I meet/know/hear about having cancer to help give that person hope.  I’m talking two days ago I received this rock.  In person.  And then I hear about my first “next.”  If you don’t believe in the power of the universe and/or God/Jesus/Allah/the Higher Power/Fate/Karma then here is some proof that there is some other magic going on out there (or just stop reading, or keep reading and I will not talk too much about those aforementioned specifics except for maybe the power of the universe, which, if you have read the Alchemist, my favorite book, then you know how it works… or do you?  Or do I even know?  What just happened?)  Accept the mystery, I suppose, revel in it.

As much as I would like to wish this whole cancer thing away, we are so obviously not there yet.  It’s getting better–the research, the treatment, the options, the conversations–but we have a long way to go.  Right now is the critical time for advocacy, to help those going through it and those who are the close support group of those going through it.

What spoke volumes to me was getting texts from coworkers ready to cover shifts before I had even gotten a chance to read my email from Chris about why he had to dash off island (unfortunately, he had another more tragic reason to depart and so I am doubly sad for him).  The people I work with–and this goes for every job I’ve had–are amazing.  I love them.  Yup, it’s true.  They are my family.  I love to see them happy and successful.  Sure, I love when they have name tags on and close-toed shoes (oh, you knew that would be in here!) but more than anything I love to see them shining.  I love to see them helping each other out and not because they were told to but because they are such good, cool, awesome, smart, funny, caring, kind, considerate people.

I like to see them furthering their careers and reaching their potential.  I like to see them aiming for distant goals.  I like to sit in my kayak at work and come up with career options for them (for Chris, I determined he needs to host his own show in Discovery Channel or Animal Planet, we are currently seeking people that can make this happen!).  Oh, don’t worry, work, I’m still monitoring the snorkel skills of passengers while I’m in the kayak.  I can multi-task.

Sometimes I consider a career in HR or career advocacy because I like this so much but then how would I get to surround myself with these cool oceany sciencey piratey people?  (According to spell check, I just made up three words!  Amazing).

Adding “word inventor” to resume.

Oh, I’m back now.

Anyway, those people are rocks.  They–we–will support Chris as he supports his mum.

Now is the time where I have to admit to you that I got out of bed at 11:30 pm (way past my 9:00 pm bed time) to write this because I couldn’t sleep and it’s now 12:15 am and I have to be up in five hours to work with all of the above-mentioned people.  I could not sleep until I got this out of my brain.  And also note I’ve been in wedding planning mode slash the-final-twenty-eight-days-count-down-to-Mrs.-Sultan-hood-aka-marriage-aka-nuptials.  Let’s just say don’t ask me too many complicated questions over the next few weeks!

Thank you, I love you, and good night!

Oh, and Mrs. C, you now have 150 more people thinking about you, praying for you and wishing you a quick and clean fight, go get ’em!

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might

Aloha friends and family!

This is a very special installment of my blog (and… as always… over-due!).

Some of you may not know this but I am a huge fan of reality TV, especially Bravo and E!  I love the show “Giuliana & Bill.”  Love it.  Because they are cool and Giuliana is funny and Bill is such a good guy.  But also because a few years ago just before my diagnosis, Ms. Rancic went through her own battles with fertility and then breast cancer and she broadcast it on TV for all to see and learn.  I am so thankful to her for doing that because she made cancer understandable; the made it something we can talk about and not just quietly behind closed doors.  She looked at the world and said, yup, this is happening to me and I’m gonna be the one to tell the truth of it all… the unsexy moments and the beautiful ones too.  Bad ass!

As I was watching E! news today, the universe intervened.  On came a news bit about a very cool web site and special opportunity for women with breast and/or ovarian cancer created by Giuliana Rancic.  It’s called Fab-U-Wish by Bright Pink.

http://www.brightpink.org/ive-been-diagnosed/fab-u-wish/

I seized the opportunity (before I forgot to do it or lost the guts to do it) and I went to the web site.  I wrote the essay but that wasn’t enough to show I wanted it.  To do that, I went the next step and made the YouTube video.  Face time is important in this day and age; we can all hide behind a computer or a cell phone or a piece of paper but when you have to record and listen to yourself and share it with others, it impresses on those around you that you mean business.  That you want it.

And I mean business!  I want it!

Here’s my video, I hope it works.  And for those of you that may be surprised by my request because I’m a science nerd who wears ugly work shorts, t-shirts and flip flops all day every day, just remember, I’m secretly a glamorous and girly woman inside (who watches reality TV); I just need the opportunity to show that side of me!